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• Equipment suppliers & vendors • Equipment shopping list • Garage gym on a budget
September 1, 2002
IN THIS ISSUE: • Outfitting a world-class strength and conditioning facility in your garage
"mess you up"
The Garage Gym
How To Get Kicked Out Of Your Gym In Ten Days Or Less!
Bring your own music – use a boom box – and turn it up to inspiration levels and start working out. ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” should do the trick. Set up a circuit like one of the typical CrossFit “Workouts of the Day” and put a sign up at each station advising others that this equipment is reserved for accurate timing of your effort. While practicing the Olympic lifts drop a max load from overhead. This may do it right here. Find a twenty-inch platform and perform box jumps. Try three sets of two minutes of max jumps. Bizarrely, this one irks the shit out of most gym management. Take a pair of dumbbells out into the parking lot to do walking lunges. You may be accused of theft. Bring several powerlifting buddies to do some super heavy deadlifts. Don’t forget to grunt, scream, and use chalk! If the gym has support poles climb them. If not find something to climb; sling a rope over a beam or rafters, attach some climbing holds to the wall and use them. You won’t get to the climbing part if you need to attach anything. You may get stopped at the door coming in with a twenty-five foot coil of two-inch rope. Workout with your shirt off. If you don’t get a reaction have your girlfriend or wife take hers off. Walk on your hands, or do handstand push-ups or some other basic gymnastics stuff. If you’ve gotten this far, this one is the clincher. Record your efforts by writing them on the wall.
The ideal gym would be located close to home or work, well equipped, clean, and manned by knowledgeable helpful staff. Our ideal gym would also not be overly crowded yet available to friends and family that we’d like to workout with. An ideal gym would be supportive of hard-core fitness, a la CrossFit. As long as we’re dreaming it might also play only the music that we want to hear. Many of us are blessed with gyms we love dearly. If that’s your situation, great! For the rest of us our gyms are very different. Often the drive to the gym is 20-30 minutes coming and going, the music is worse than annoying, the staff are less than worthless, the place is packed with selectorized equipment for which we’ve no use and the few pieces of equipment that you want to use are in near constant use. Commute, parking, filth, rust, crowding, music, staff, and members each can make what for us is an essential activity difficult or impossible. The “Spa” (big tip-off) in our neighborhood has over the years banned Olympic lifting, all jumping, plyometrics, walking lunges -believe it or not- and has as a matter of policy fostered an antagonistic attitude to serious training. No grunting, sweating, yelling, or dropping weights allowed. Our experience is not unique. In part the problem is one of business model. Your average neighborhood health club or gym is predicated on a low to minimum wage, skilless staff supervising hapless members. The idea is to fill the space with machines, staff it with high school kids and let “Muscle and Fitness” provide the technical guidance. The predominant model in commercial facilities is the bodybuilding model: all machines and isolation work. Machines and isolation movements require little or no knowledgeable instruction or coaching whereas serious strength and conditioning requires less equipment and considerable expertise on the part of coaches. You can see this in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s, landmark Essentials of Strength and Conditioning where schematics of a university strength and conditioning facility and a commercial health club are shown. The schematics speak volumes. You’ll notice that the commercial facility is littered with equipment whereas the university strength and conditioning facility is sparse by comparison. At CrossFit we routinely receive email from athletes complaining that their gym doesn’t have bumper plates, training/practice plates, rings, parallel bars, climbing ropes, plyo boxes, or some other piece or gear essential to our practice. The solution to this dilemma has been solved by many of these same clients: building a garage gym.
If after day ten you are still allowed in, you belong to a great gym. Let us know where it is; we’ll feature it on our site. If you’re asked to leave before or during this experiment it’s time to clean out the garage!
Some go this route because no other resources are available. There is within your garage more than enough space to develop a gym that will rival just about any commercial facility. Cover it if you must. we’ve picked up every piece of equipment critical to forging world-class athleticism. Each cut will only be about 18 inches long and about 1⁄4 inch deep. Even if you have to rent a truck and drive two hours out of Manhattan to find a feed and tack store you’ll save a bundle by not paying for shipping. The number of athletes training in garages. throwing. jumping. Let only about a 1⁄2” of blade out and from your belly with arms out straight overhead draw the knife towards you along the chalked line. tools. rather inexpensively. not a bodybuilding gym. You can erect a Rubbermaid storage shed in the back yard for all of your gardening equipment. Our facility is in fact little more than an oversized high ceiling garage. We wouldn’t keep 99% of the equipment at your Gold’s gym if it were given to us. your car and 15 years worth of accumulated junk make current use of that space. The rest throw away! If your garage is full of “stuff” that you don’t want to keep the easiest solution is to rent a disposal bin. really hard. Cutting the mats is not easy!! In fact.September 1. nice. California. and climbing essential to responsible programming will find no welcome home for you and your friends at 24-Hour Nautilus. Many of these are world dominant in their sport. The same is true of our clients who’ve built their own facilities. it’s really. 2002 Now. Use a four-foot steel or aluminum rule to draw your lines and to make the first pass with the knife. one mat at a time if you need to. the idea of developing a garage gym may seem daunting. not one. a world-class strength and conditioning facility in your garage! At the CrossFit facility in Santa Cruz. it will take three passes to get through. You can build. Pull the car into the driveway. and other things you want to keep. Lay the brown bag out on the mat to be cut and trace with white chalk the line you want to cut. seams. when you look at the sea of worthless machines that makes up a commercial facility. The same mats are sold by feed and tack stores as horse stall mats. Install in installments. and abandoned buildings is legion. They’ve got exactly what they need. The lifting. Avoid buying your mats from fitness vendors. Yeah. There’s no piece of equipment that we need but don’t have. barns. we know. It’s easy! Starting from the Ground Up: Matting Once the garage is cleared and cleaned the next obvious step is to mat it. The garage gym tradition is revered and respected. The rental yard will drop the bin off and come back for it and dispose of the contents when you’re done. The Cure Here’s the great news. The best approach is to make a template out of brown shopping bag that fits the space for which you want to cut a mat. You can find 4’X6’X 3⁄4 “ rubber mats exactly like the ones sold by Bigger Faster Stronger (one of our favorite vendors) at your local horse feed and tack store. and many of our clients have the same stuff at home. Due to the compressibility of the mats this allows for really tight. What we’re talking about here is repurposing your garage from junkyard and auto shelter to a first-rate strength and conditioning facility. Don’t cut over 2 . You’ll need one mat for each 24 square feet of garage. It will help to draw your lines approximately 1⁄4” past what you’ve measured. So. We recommend that you draw your garage to scale on a paper and you’ll see how many mats you can lay without cutting and how many you have to cut. Cutting 3⁄4” rubber matting is best achieved with a utility knife. Just remember. Your garage is begging to become a gym. Matting is expensive but adds so much to comfort and safety that they are a must. but most have chosen the garage-gym realizing it best provides for their needs. The mats are 50-60 pounds apiece and the shipping is outrageous. we’re building a strength and conditioning gym. Have a garage sale for the junk of value.
Iron Mind also publishes Milo.” We’ve gotten them to heavily discount broken pieces and then had them fixed.gymnasticproducts.com) Power System’s prices are rock bottom and their equipment is O. There’s nothing Nick can’t make.September 1.com) Concept II makes the Concept II Rowing Ergometer. Bare Minimum: Weights & Pull-up Bar You want to get an Olympic weight set. 11. think Mercedes. Nick Massman (raahlu@pacbell. No one else can make this claim. Their prices reflect as much. We just enjoy looking through their catalog.com) Iron Mind is our favorite supplier by a long shot. 7. and his stuff is at least as good as IronMind’s. We can’t say enough good things about this company or this piece of “cardio” equipment. the cement or on any surface you don’t want to ruin.com/default. American Athletic. 6. 1. They’ve typically had trouble fulfilling orders correctly and on time but they are well intentioned and honest. For custom applications and one-of-a-kind pieces he’s “the man. Faster. think Lexus.yorkbarbell. the best journal of strength training in the world.stairmaster. rotating-thick handled pull-up bar. (AAI) (http://www. This chore requires patience. We recommend a sheet of plywood under the mats you are cutting. Where budgets are BIG Eleiko’s the choice. Think York. Careful work and positioning of the mats will minimize seams and gaps. Concept II (www. Their equipment is sound and beautiful.com) Ivanko’s stuff is gorgeous.” Nick has been able to take the best equipment and make it better! 2. 13. we’d still do business with them. Often Power Systems is the easy choice for odds and ends and their selection is impressive. CrossFit has done more business with them than any other vendor. Eleiko (www. The Gravitron is perfect but Stairmaster is sloppy in fulfillment. Spieth is your first choice. 8.K. They feel like they weigh 300 pounds a piece by the end of the day.sorinex. These guys understand fitness. The Iron Mind catalog is itself a tribute to the company’s integrity and commitment. Don’t even think about using a skill saw or other power saw.asp) We’ve not done business with Sorinex yet. You’ll want help loading and unloading the mats and measuring.eleikosport. The training guide that comes with each medicine ball is absolutely outstanding. the perfect tool for developing pull-ups and dips.com) When it comes to medicine balls these guys are the only way to go. Ivanko (www. Think Ivanko. York Barbell Company (www. We use a twenty-five pound plate to slide into the mat’s edges to cram them together shrinking gaps before laying the next mat. The biggest problem with Power Systems is in shipping. 5. Stronger’s equipment is good and reasonably priced.concept2. We much too often get broken equipment and their welds have been “iffy.medicineballs. wall ball target. We’ve seen first timers make near perfect cuts around poles and corners using just a utility knife. 12.com/company. Your fitness library ought to include catalogs from each vendor. These have the rotating sleeves 3 . and fitting them. Bigger. In the end. Innovative (check out their new glute ham developer) and designed from experience this is excellent equipment. This is the hardest part of the garage gym. think Rolls Royce. This is one chore where a friend is almost essential. Their equipment will last a lifetime and is a perfect match to the CrossFit minimalist/basics philosophy. Sorinex (http://www. and other CrossFit originals. Think Eleiko. Their site features articles explaining the engineering behind good bars and plates. The resulting fire and smoke will take hours to clear and that’s from a six inch cut. They routinely make promises they can’t keep. rings. and other gymnastics equipment.com) Stairmaster makes the Gravitron. 4.ironmind. Stronger (BFS) (www. 9. Dynamax (www.com/gymnastics/) Spieth Anderson is the Eleiko of gymnastics supplies (think Spieth. mats. Inc. cutting.com/) AAI is our favorite supplier for parallel bars. Spieth Anderson (http://www. but will in the future. The Sorin brothers are highly regarded in the industry and their equipment is gaining rapidly in popularity. Iron Mind (www. If your budget has no limits.net) Nick is the CrossFit engineer. Concept II has turned their product into a sport.com) Bigger. 2002 Vendors & Manufacturers Many of these vendor’s websites don’t contain all of their products. 10. We recommend that you contact (call) vendors and ask for their current catalog. They are only 50 pounds or so but couldn’t be more awkward. He made our “ab bench”.ivanko. pull-up bar.asp) Eleiko has no peer in the weightlifting world. Power Systems (www. think Rolls Royce). Where else can you rank your metabolic conditioning against an international pool of world class athletes like you can from their website? Stairmaster (www. 3.com) York Barbell makes beautiful equipment and is the best of the major American equipment manufacturers. Faster.spiethanderson.biggerfasterstronger.power-systems.
Some of our friends have found remanufactured Gravitrons for nearly half of the new price. There’s another angle to pull-ups and dips. Bigger Faster Stronger and IronMind are our favorite vendors and Ivanko. We’ve made this mistake in ordering racks. We have and use both. push-ups.com) “Aluma-lite” and “Ultralite” bars if your gym is going to be used by women. The only steel we need is 2 1⁄2 pound plates. You may want to think about Bigger Faster Stronger’s (www. Though far from cheap they have been indispensable to CrossFit’s practice. seniors.” These Dumbbells have to be seen and handled to be believed. The temptation is to go with one of the many freestanding pull-up and dip towers. We don’t have a preferred vendor for these items. We have in our facility two Starmaster Gravitrons (www. The bar holders that hold the bars on end take up little space. They are super durable.biggerfasterstronger. and pull-ups. A standard Olympic Bar is 45 pounds. or children. Eleiko.html). and won’t come apart and drop plates in your mouth. The newer Gravitron allows for lowering of the carriage and provides a station for unassisted pull-up and dips. We also commissioned Nick to design and fabricate a thick handled (2” diameter) revolving pullup bar. These plates are all 18 inches in diameter. For them the Gravitron is indispensable.com/commercial/products/ strength/gravitron/index. squats. Search the Internet for used Gravitrons. If you are going to be working out with buddies you are going to want two Olympic bars. They are cheap and adequate to the task but flimsy and take up valuable floor space.stairmaster. You can also have wall mounted pull-up and dip bars made by a local welder. unfortunately. In our garage gym we place a premium on floor space. They take Olympic plates and are thick handled (2 inches). rubber coated. These bars weigh 15 and 30 pounds respectively. If we were outfitting our facility again we’d go all rubber and almost no steel. We’ve had trouble with equipment coming damaged from Power Systems but these items are very sturdy and ultimately Power Systems made good on the damage. cleans. It will set you back several hundred dollars but provide a lifetime of service. As far as plates go we highly recommend that you go with solid rubber composition plates. They have proven indispensable to developing pull-ups and dips in individuals not strong enough for either the pull-up or the dip. but we wouldn’t be happy without them.September 1. This monster will take someone with thirty pull-ups and bust them down to five reps. You need a place to perform pull-ups and dips. These plates are safer and quieter than steel and even regular bumper plates. If you only had a bar and a place to do pull-ups you could do an acceptable variant of the CrossFit Program. The load on the hands and forearms is amazing. It’s annoying and unsafe leaving this equipment on the floor. In fact the minimalist/low-budget 4 . If your plates are all full-sized bumper or rubber composition plates make sure your rack is designed to hold Olympic bumper plates. We paid a lot more for a lot less. You’ll want an Olympic Bar and Olympic Bumper Plate holder. With this minimal amount of equipment you could do deadlifts. The rubber plates cost more but the noise reduction alone makes them worth the money. 2002 and accept plates with the 2” holes. We had Nick Massman (raahlu@pacbell. push-press. You’ll never outgrow these monsters. Power Systems makes a wall mounted pull-up bar and dip bar. You’ll never regret buying a quality bar. Dumbbells are not absolutely essential. People’s jaws drop when they see them. If you already have pull-ups and dips the Gravitron is still a great tool to work additional reps when spent or for warm-up. The rubber composition plates are made by both Hampton and York and come in 25-20-15-and 10 kg weights. If you can’t do a pull-ups or dip you need a Gravitron. The pull-up and dip are unsurpassed in developing functional upper body strength and are formidable obstacles for most women and seniors. Best of all they store in vertical racks that take up little room. and York are our favorite manufacturers. Where budgets and space are tight you want to consider IronMind’s “Olympic-Style Husky Handle Dumbbell Bars. This is a great dumbbell and racking system at a great price. Bigger Faster Stronger has non-composition rubber and plastic five and ten pound plates.net) build CrossFit a pull-up bar and mounting brackets that is twenty feet long. Our favorite is the Durabell Dumbell made by Hampton and carried by York Barbell Company.
The beauty of the Vulcan Racks. I’m Broke! If your budget is seriously limited here are some ideas: 1. Spotting is always a dilemma when working out alone. 5. Let’s take a look at the rower. The Benches and Racks Now we want to get some “furniture”. and the Concept II Rower. That’s the CrossFit cardio equipment list. and the internet for used equipment. Programs with multi-million dollar budgets and acres of space are using this same gear. Gym equipment goes for pennies on the dollar at garage sales and in the classified section of your local paper. Make a habit of checking in with used sporting good stores. IronMind also makes dipping handles that transform the Vulcan Racks into a reasonably stable dipping platform.com) squat racks are called “Vulcan Racks. The Iron Mind (www. and cleans and pullups day three and rest day four. 4. can be tucked away to fit in the smallest of spaces. Iron Mind is the first choice for these critical pieces. Iron Mind’s “Pillars of Power” are in a sense portable power racks. good bike. 2.September 1. They’re substantial! Make what you can. The Iron Mind flat bench (“Five Star Flat Bench”) is built to last forever. Our favorite piece of equipment for metabolic conditioning (“cardio”) is the Concept II Rower. We’ve seen cheaper ($280 with shipping) but not stronger benches. and “portable power racks”. If you want a gym nothing can stop you. Ultimately. the classifieds. The more we use these racks the more we like them. 3. Shop around. The Pillars of Power are actually a better spotter than a workout partner for the bench press and squat. You are not compromising with this stuff. You can mat your garage one mat at a time. You can find retailers in your area with what you need so that you can avoid shipping costs. push-press and push-ups day two. If you’ve the skill or know someone with the talents much of our equipment can be fabricated for less.000 pounds – are a perfect tool for self-spotting bench press and squats as well as an excellent loading platform for numerous exercises. bench or standing. These bombproof racks – they will support 4.500 safely. running shoes. Five Star Flat Bench. This all steel bench is the perfect bench for bench press though we’ve found it handy for dozens of other uses from step-ups to reaching our pull-up bar. Squat racks are the next most important piece of equipment after your Olympic bar and pull-up bar. You will need to have a flat bench. You could get amazing results on this regimen. Many of our world champion fighters are terrified of the rower! Often a good thousand-meter effort leaves an impact on the body that lasts for days. Buy used. squat racks. and Pillars of Power is that they are professional grade equipment in use by hard-core lifters world wide. is to lay plans for a world-class strength and conditioning facility in your home. They are used at the U. Allocate a monthly budget for the project and be patient. That’s enough to get started. and are perfectly portable. They are adjustable from 37. be resourceful. In minimalist/low-budget mode we derive our metabolic conditioning from running and jumping rope. Start with an Olympic bar and some rubber composition plates and a pull-up bar. 2002 approach to our program is to do deadlifts and Tabata Squats on day one. Rowing is as complete as any single exercise can be. The effect of rowing has to be experienced to be believed. We’re talking about some of the best training equipment available at any price! Our Favorite Piece of “Cardio” Equipment A jump rope. 6.ironmind.S. Let’s proceed with the rest of our design. though. Olympic Training Center as well as at CrossFit.” They weigh only 50 pounds yet can support 1. Our desire here.5 – 64” making them ideal for squatting and pressing. The claim of a complete or whole body exercise is often made and seldom true. As for But. 5 . Repeat.
Concept II has turned their product into an international sport. While unwieldy and somewhat large this is one piece of equipment you’ll never outgrow. This is potentially a life saving skill. gender. Your input will be greatly appreciated and every email will be answered. Made from PVC these bars will allow for much of what you can do on the bigger set. Our parallettes came from AAI (http://www. Presses to handstand. You can get a pair of rings and straps from Professional Athletics (PA). coordination.O.com) where rowers post their times at varying distances grouped by age. The console on the C2 is our favorite on any “cardio” equipment. Some of our 6 .htm) for stretching and to cushion a possible fall from the parallel bars. so here are plans for homemade parallettes. or rope climb. once you’ve mastered it. PA carries Norbert’s wood rings and straps for about $125.com/parallel. It’s unbelievable to us that this flexibility is unique to this equipment. you just think you’ve got good upper body strength until you’ve actually done one. abdominal strength. … the list of exercises that can be learned on these is extensive.gymnasticsequipment. We’ve seen Concept II Rowers that have been in daily commercial use for years and years without any maintenance. agility. The Skills and Drills Page will keep you motivated and challenged for deacades. repeated 8 times). balance.concept2. they are cheap ($800) and virtually indestructible and essentially maintenance free. Ordering the CrossFit Journal The CrossFit Journal is an electronically distributed magazine (emailed e-zine) published monthly by www. We strung a pair of still rings from our vaulted ceiling. Finally. This is an ideal place to develop upper body strength. 2002 the Concept II Rower itself. V-holds. You may not have the great luxury of a 15-20 foot ceiling.drillsandskills.00. Our favorite mat is 3.html.gymnasticproducts.com/ mats.com/skills/cond/ Incidentally. We don’t know of any other product that can make a similar claim.com. Other than the pull-up bar and dipping platform already mentioned we have parallettes (short parallel bars) and still rings. and can express this strength in a multitude of planes. or send check or money order in the amount of $25 to: CrossFit P. address and email address. Learn the muscle-up. We’ll cover the muscle-up in great detail in a later issue. The muscle-up combines the world’s nastiest pullup with the hardest dip. Gymnastics and Climbing Equipment Because gymnasts have an extraordinary strength to weight ratio. Lholds.html. If you have any questions or comments send them to feedback@crossfit. The C2 console allows us to row for time or distance and gives projected times and distances making targeted efforts easier. As for the muscle-up. Only running and jumping rope require equipment (shoes & rope) that stow away as compactly as this rower. the wooden rings and strap assembly hung over your pull-up bar is the ideal solution as to where to do dips. CrossFit makes regular use of skills and drills that develop this capacity. From the Drills and Skills site: http://www.com chronicling a proven method of achieving elite fitness. If e-mailing presents a problem for you we can fax the journal to you every month. to surmount any object on which you can get a finger hold. stand 16” high and are 8’ long.htm) and are marketed as “low parallel bars”.crossfit. That’s all we’ll say about that. Rope Climb is an extraordinary exercise yet requires a tall ceiling. For subscription information go to: www. Concept II has an outstanding website (www. and accuracy. pirouettes. That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the incomparable upper body strength that can be developed on the rings. They are adjustable from 14-20” wide. you can’t without rings. http://www. This is possible because the Concept II Rower (C2) is a common and valuable tool of internationally competitive rowers.5’ X 6’ X 4”.crossfit.com/rings. We’ve seen these rings hung over a wall or beam mounted pull-up bar allowing for muscle-ups (pulling yourself from a hang below the rings to a support above and dipping to full extension) and dips.gymnasticproducts. and weight. unrivaled torso/upper body strength. handstands. On this rower we can easily program any interval pattern we want like the Tabata interval (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Space and budget may not allow for the commercial bars. this is one of our favorite sites. rings. push-ups. The pool of athletes is deep enough that the posted times legitimately reflect a world ranking. The Concept II Rower stores on end and in this position takes up less space than most other common pieces of “cardio” equipment. but let it suffice to say for now that the muscle-up is an indispensable tool for developing stupefying upper body strength.com/ subscribe/subscribe. The difference in difficulty between bar dips and ring dips is a source of unending entertainment. AAI’s “low parallel bars” cost $844. Box 2769 Aptos CA 95001 Please include name. The muscle-up is a functional movement that enables you.September 1. We also use landing mats from AAI (http://www.
This is not a pretty solution.htm). Though a mess. and Peg Boards are wickedly effective. This is cheap.htm) for constructing and installing a campus board and sells the equipment. weight training generally lacks in pulling movements compared to pushing movements.asp http://www. You could put hundreds of these up in your garage. This is why we place such an emphasis on gymnastics and climbing in our program. AAI Climbing Ropes also come with mounting hardware.” Here are several we are considering: http://www. Climbing Holds. Search Google (www.metoliusclimbing. ran an eye bolt through a beam and passed the rope through the eye and tied a knot in the end to keep it from coming through. takes no useable space and is functional.com/prodsvs. They have several styles including one with braided knots every 12” to assist the beginner. The floor end needs to be knotted or “whipped” to keep from unraveling. great functional exercise. of course. AAI’s ropes are absolutely beautiful (http://www. We’ve limited experience with this stuff.com/howto_designcampus. The vendors will supply all the hardware and instructions for installation. As a note. Here are the best we’ve found on the net: http://bisinc.metoliusclimbing. Again. They mount to plywood and the plywood mounts to your walls. Campus Board. We don’t know of a better site or source for campus boarding. come in custom lengths and are booted or braided/knotted at the end to prevent unraveling.com/climbingholds. If monitored regularly for wear and fraying this is perfectly safe. we had it fixed. The Climbing Rope. poorly welded and to this day wobbles a little like a bad table that needs a match book under one of the legs.power-systems. require no equipment. and fun. Again.metoliusclimbing. Climbing Holds. but it is our next frontier. 7 . Campus Boards.” The rest of our trunk work is calisthenics movements that.gymnasticproducts.metoliusclimbing. These apparatus are invaluable to rounding out your program.html. Trunk Development Equipment CrossFit’s trunk work comes primarily from hip/back extensions and sit-ups performed on a Glute-Ham Developer and abdominal work done on our “Ab Bench” and “Ab Mat.com).google.com/training_accessories. The Climbing Rope may or may not be an option in your gym.September 1. but there’s no compromise in function with this approach.ihtml & http://www. and FUN! Peg Boards can be used to develop great back and arm strength.com/fitness15. we’ve plans to install Peg Boards on our walls soon.com/megapacks.com) for “Climbing Holds. but there are several other climbing options that are possible in any space.com/) explains the history (http: //www. Our Glute-Ham Developer (GHD) came from Power Systems (www. 2002 friends have strung a rope in a tree in their yard. beautiful.htm) and details of campus boarding and gives plans (http:// www. Our rope came from AAI (http://www.gymnasticproducts. but you can put together a Climbing Rope at a fraction of the cost. CrossFit plans to install a campus board within the next few months. but it was expensive. It came late.wolverinesports.com/). a limited option with a low ceiling. One of our friends bought a length of 1 1⁄2 “ twisted manila rope. perhaps.juggernet.htm http://www. and Peg Board all give great work emphasizing the back and arms as well as the hands and forearms.shopslms. This is our favorite alternative to the Climbing Rope. If you had a garage with exposed rafters you could string a shorter rope and start from seated and make multiple trips up and down for great effect. We’ve plans to fill our walls with climbing holds. This is. Metolius (http://www. doesn’t take from otherwise useable space. Campus Boarding is great exercise.com/lgi_old/ pegboard. This is a must for a garage gym in our opinion.html. broken.com/howto_campusboards. You won’t find a better rope than AAI’s. functional.
We have a full set of plyometrics boxes from BFS (www. 53. It’s fairly cheesy. and 72pound Kettlebell.abmat.” Miscellaneous Basics Plyometrics boxes are a simple and wickedly effective tool for both explosive/power training and metabolic conditioning. we recommend getting a set.com/Products2. but there’s something to jump ropes.html).dragondoor.K. The price has fallen to $169. This gives you an excellent jumping box at three heights (the booster provides both a two and four inch boost depending on it’s orientation) and a box for box squats. Additionally. but we put Nick Massman (raahlu@pacbell. Nick’s version of the ab-bench is something we are proud of. low bounce ball. The manual that comes with the Dynamax ball is one of the best publications accompanying any fitness product. Timed box jumping is high intensity functional exercise and a regular feature in CrossFit’s Workout of the Day. It’s just “O. Here is our next GHD: http: //www. The Superope is billed as their fastest and most durable.com/2002/search/group_name. After years of experimentation with both. The competitions have been a blast. Many of our friends have gone with the Bigger Faster Stronger GHD.biggerfasterstronger. There are two general trends in the design of jumping ropes: heavy and fast.asp?sku_group=35408?gp=gp). The rope is marketed as the “Superope” (http://www. The “ab bench” (http://shop. It may seem trite to cover. We’ll frequently pit two athletes against one another to see who can keep swinging the big one overhead for the best time. We paid $300 for our ab bench and we were heartbroken when we saw the quality of the product. The first is “wall ball.store.com/intro. Well. and it’s a certainty that given enough exposure this is going to happen. our Superope wore and broke after a year but the rope was so fast that it was worth replacing even if it wore out at five times the rate it did. You can read about and order the ab mat from http://www. Koch.power-systems. which is a lot better.com). Blom.medicineballs. The science behind both the “ab mat” and the “ab bench” are perfectly brilliant. We use the 10” box for “box squats” both weighted and free.yahoo. The two-arm Kettlebell swing is a great exercise and for that we purchased Pavel Tsatsouline’s Kettlebell set from Dragon Door Enterprises (http: //www. Still.com/). Nick Massman (raahlu@pacbell. the original is a “piece. The set includes a 36.sorinex. Our favorite jump rope came from Power Systems (www. its booster.htm.html) incorporates the same science. Some of our friends have made their own after giving up on delivery.com/default. and this one is lightening fast! We have in our facility several Dynamax Medicine Balls (http://www.” Wall ball is essentially a deep front squat-pushpress/throw with a rapid recycle time. This is one of the best $30 investments you can make. and most of the frustration. much better ab-bench with an improved design. and the 10” box.com/p10. and Jacob are responsible for the research and understanding behind these products.com) but use the 20” box almost exclusively. We have two unique applications for medicine ball training.htm. 2002 and Power Systems gave us a refund large enough to forgive the shoddy workmanship.sorinex. 8 .” We’re not convinced we’ve seen the best of the GHD’s on the market.net) on the task and we got a much. With the exception of the two-armed swing most of the Kettlebell exercises have been more novelty than productive. The Dynamax ball is a soft.com/homegym/abbenrevbyfr. We recommend getting the 20” box.September 1. It just feels like it waiting months for your mat to arrive. we’ve come down squarely on the side of the fast rope.asp). This article is a must read! Order fulfillment has been troublesome to say the least but none of our friends have been ripped off.net) made a steel backboard for this drill.power-systems. Dynamax’s claims about the advantages of a less lively ball are proven the instant the ball bounces off your face. most of the exercises featured on Pavel’s videotape can be equally or better facilitated with dumbbells than the Kettlebell. If we were to replace ours we’d go with Sorinex (http://www.
com/mcart/index. 2002 In addition to the “wall-ball” drill we use the medicine ball to teach the power clean and squat clean. budget. The “Just Jump or Run” (http://www. dip bars.bodytronics. Take our word for it. We record achievements for various efforts on these boards. We’ll mention here in the name of completeness that we also have at CrossFit two StairMaster Stairclimbers and two StairMaster stationary bikes. Once you’ve used this watch other timing methods seem difficult. We had a lot of fun with this for a while.kbacoach. Our favorite comes from www. sprint time.harken. but we don’t use it much anymore. etc. KBA Coaching (http: //www.html) is an electronic device that tests vertical jump. If you’ve the ceiling height. Finishing We recommend that you finish your garage in 3⁄4” plywood. and total interval count you choose. We use this with both heavy-duty leather padded ankle straps and a “Delta No-Tangle Harness Vest Style” from Sala (651. Now we couldn’t be without them. Whether in a professional coaching environment or working out by yourself in the garage you can’t see what it is that you are doing right or wrong without video. This great watch chimes a countdown for the work interval and the rest interval distinct from the end and beginning of the work and rest interval so that it can be used hands free and without looking at the watch to time your interval training efforts. CrossFit also has a Sony digital video camera. 9 . Our facility has a 15-foot ceiling from which we’ve attached a block and tackle assembly from Harken (http:// www.com/index. They’re fun. If you finish most the wall space with plywood you can cover your walls with climbing holds and have perfect flexibility for mounting your pull-up bar. and anaerobic fade.8282).stopwatches.com) with a 4:1 purchase. This watch will time intervals of any work time. Miscellaneous Luxury Items This brings us to our last piece of strength and conditioning equipment. rest time. good diversion. It’s cool.September 1. campus board. This can provide a very public display of your accomplishments and in turn becomes a wonderful source of motivation. As aids to instruction we’ve some specialized equipment that while being very useful for an instructional environment may have limited applicability for a home gym. Neither should you. The ankle straps (from Power Systems) we use to spot and assist handstand push-ups and presses on the rings and parallel bars and the harness we use to assist the muscle-up. The look is also appealing and shows your pride in what you’ve built. Probotics “Just Jump or Run“.kbacoach. This has been an extraordinarily effective drill to that end.com and is the Seiko S052 Interval Timing Stopwatch (http://www. We didn’t know when we affixed these boards just how important they’d become. of We’ve mounted sheets of marker boards on the CrossFit gym walls for use with dry erase markers. but not critical.cgi?&task=show&cat=Seiko+Stopwatches). peg board.388. You can buy 4’ X 8’ sheets of marker board for about $15 per sheet from most lumberyards. You’ll need a stopwatch for your workouts.html) carries the “Just Jump or Run”. and I’m not sure if it was worth the $500 we paid for it. and commitment these items are of enormous benefit. Eventually in your training this becomes more necessity than luxury especially for the Olympic lifts and gymnastics movements. This is a gem of a watch for the Tabata Interval. Lag bolted securely to the studs the plywood becomes the perfect surface for mounting anything you want or need. reaction time.com/ justjumporrun.
kitchen. through the CrossFit Journal will provide that expertise. These chains and gyms like them cannot support elite professional programming. Whether you’re blasting your favorite tunes. satellite TV and music. Where lives and livelihoods depend on fitness this model is woefully lacking. Milo is honest. They are collectively a fine source of motivation and ideas. That’s the only place it can be won. Those that have gone this route find that with each modification or additional piece of equipment their enjoyment and pride increase. bedrooms.200 square feet and we routinely operate with three trainers and three to six athletes at one time. If cost is an objection you may consider reevaluating your priorities. motivation.google. CrossFit endeavors to lead a revolution in fitness training. If you don’t know where to start just put “sport posters” into google and start surfing. better. CrossFit. State-of-the-art strength and conditioning technology. a radical departure from the ineffectual. Every garage gym should have a library and there’s no better way to seed your fitness library (other than with the CrossFit Journal. This is the only reason bodybuilding practices permeate these facilities. Randall Strossen. World’s Gym. The final touch (in reality you’ll never finish. Throw your favorite sport or athlete into “google” (www. much. is more readily facilitated in a well-appointed garage than in a Gold’s Gym. keeping an eye on the stock ticker before leaving for work. homegrown. The typical garage is perfectly sized for an elite strength and conditioning program servicing a family or individual and friends. differ from the professional or elite athlete’s by degree not kind. pro sports franchise.September 1. Family Fitness Center. 24-Hour Nautilus. which is cool) is artwork. your gym has the potential to be much. or Balley’s. we’ve done if for thousands through our website. and instruction. “Look What You’ve Done” Don’t let the fact that your garage is only 400 square feet or so deter you. You’ll find more than you’ve time to look at. We know it can be done. In a future edition we will make recommendations for material to flesh out your fitness library. gritty. and one of a very few legitimate journals in the fitness world. The satisfaction derived from building your own gym and sharing it with your friends is sure to surprise you. Milo is billed as “a journal for serious strength athletes. CrossFit’s gym is approximately 1. of course) than with Milo. It bears repeating: the commercial model is predicated on simple movements requiring little or no coaching and inexperienced lowpaid staff. We make extensive use of our system for entertainment. In truth. or dining room are well appointed there’s no substance to the argument that you cannot afford your own gym. 2002 We have a wall mounted monitor. We’re waging this revolution in your home. We wouldn’t trade a single issue of Milo for all the popular fitness magazines in the world. or running IronMind’s Bulgarian Training Hall Olympic Lifting Videotape as background motivation the total effect of an AV system is fantastic.com) along with the words “poster” and you’ll be likely to find a poster that will be both entertaining and inspirational. unless your health and fitness are lesser priorities than your leisure and entertainment. 10 . cheaper and less equipment. but professional staff and instruction. The professional strength and conditioning facility requires different equipment. like CrossFit. you can. You’ll also want to get catalogs from the vendors we’ve mentioned here for your shelf. some of our friends have built their gyms in less than 200 square feet! It needs to be explained that your home gym doesn’t aspire to be as good or complete as a commercial facility. non-functional prevailing bodybuilding model of the commercial gyms and towards the professional strength and conditioning model of the university. If your living room. and a full rack of audio-visual gear at CrossFit.” Milo is incredible. Your needs. the owner of IronMind will live forever in fitness lore for publishing Milo. and military. regardless of your current fitness.
html) Glute-Ham Developer Ab Mat (con’t.metoliusclimbing.com) Recommended source: York Barbell Company (www.htm) Climbing Holds Campus Board Peg Board Recommended source: (various) (http://www. (AAI) (http://www.com/ rings.com) Olympic Bumper Plates Dumbells Recommended source: Bigger.com) Portable Power Racks Rower Recommended source: Iron Mind (www.gymnasticproducts.power-systems. Faster.metoliusclimbing.ironmind.juggernet.com/megapacks.htm) Recommended source: American Athletic.htm) Recommended source: Abmat (http://www.sorinex.com/climbingholds.com) Squat Racks Recommended source: Iron Mind (www. (AAI) (http://www.htm) 11 .asp.shopslms.com) Recommended source: Concept II (www.ironmind.biggerfasterstronger. Inc.concept2.September 1.gymnasticproducts.) Recommended source: Sorinex (http://www.com/parallel.com) Parallettes Still Rings Recommended source: American Athletic. Inc. http://www. (AAI) (http://www.com/training_ accessories. Faster.com) Pull-up Bar Recommended source: Power Systems (www.wolverinesports.com/prodsvs.com/fitness15.power-systems.com) Recommended source: Iron Mind (www.com/Products2. http://www.htm) Recommended source: American Athletic.htm.com) Dip Station Flat Bench Recommended source: Power Systems (www. Inc. Stronger (BFS) (www. 2002 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Garage Gym Equipment Shopping Checklist Mats Recommended source: local feed & grain store Olympic Bar Recommended source: Bigger.gymnasticproducts.com/intro.abmat. (AAI) (http://www.ironmind.com/mats.com/) Recommended source: Wolverine Sports (http://www.gymnastics-equipment. Inc.html) Landing Mats Rope Recommended source: American Athletic. Stronger (BFS) (www.yorkbarbell.biggerfasterstronger.html) Recommended source: Metolius (http://www.
con’t.com/index.power-systems.bodytronics.com) Medicine Balls Recommended source: Dynamax Medicine Balls (http://www.dragondoor.com) Road or Mountain Bike Recommended source: n/a Digital Video Camera Recommended source: n/a Stop Watch Recommended source: Seiko S052 Interval Timing Stopwatch (http://www.388.cgi?&task=show&cat=Seiko+Stopwatches) Marker Board AV System Recommended source: local lumberyard Recommended source: n/a Fitness library Recommended source: n/a Inspirational Art Work Recommended source: n/a 12 .kbacoach.html) Plyometrics Boxes Kettlebells Recommended source: Bigger.com/p10.September 1.html) Jump Rope Recommended source: Power Systems (www.com/mcart/ index.com/) “Just Jump or Run” Block and Tackle Harness Recommended source: KBA Coaching (http://www. Stronger (BFS) (www. Faster.com) Recommended source: Sala (651.com) Recommended source: Dragon Door Enterprises (http://www. 2002 (Equip.medicineballs.yahoo.power-systems.biggerfasterstronger.8282) Ankle Straps Recommended source: Power Systems (www. Checklist.com/homegym/ homeabbench.) □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Ab Bench Recommended source: Home Gym Warehouse (http://store.html) Recommended source: Harken (http://www.harken.
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